Guy Grogan creates a melting pot of ideas wrapped in folk and classic rock sensibilities with new record Same Morning Light.
Sante Fe artist Guy Grogan is no stranger to the recording process. Having released 13 albums, Grogan plays many of the included instruments on the finished recordings allowing him a decent amount of control. This hands-on approach means the artist gets exactly what he wants out of the process and the sound he covets. New album Same Morning Light travels from folk, to classic rock with a poetry pop vibe, all contained within strong beats and distinct melodies.
Album-titled track Same Morning Light starts off the record as we’re thrown straight into the fray with no build up. Rolling drums and haunting, intermittent guitar make for an anxious atmosphere that take us toward a short but influential chorus. Grogan’s vocals work well with the atmosphere, drawing on the excitement through settled tones, reminiscent of a mix between Petty and Dylan. The vocals then come into their own in the chorus, preferring higher notes to set it apart and offer something different. The Wind Will Blow Us Home follows as a more melodic piece, slower, thoughtful and simple acoustic guitar providing the basis with vocal structure taking on a more of a T.Rex vibe.
As the album bellows on, we get more of a flavour of how Grogan manages to mix in indie and classic rock sounds with folky undertones. When It’s True leans more on the folk side of things, content with playful use of acoustic guitar amongst breathy vocals whereas Which Only Life cranks out a slow blues melody with a penchant for the reminiscent and sounding like it could have been recorded decades ago.
For all the strong songwriting and structure of the tracks, at times, it can feel like the record struggles to introduce anything relatively new which could help bring it out of its shell. Better Off is a cleverly constructed, fast-paced folk track that works through a strong build up, but just feels that it could introduce a bit more variety later on. Back To Sunrise, again, is a melodic and bright piece but the chorus just feels it could do a little more to really build on the energy. The talent shines through, however, with closer Not Your Hero; the perfect ending for the record, drawing on a slow and steady drum beat and sliding guitar sounds before springing into life. With hints of Pink Floyd, the track grows nicely without getting bogged down in anything too heavy.
Guy Grogan has created a record that’s both very personal but also looks outside himself and builds on other influences. Same Morning Light may draw heavily on past authorities, but most of the time Grogan adds something that makes it distinctly his and moves the track forward under his own steam. At times meditativ, at others, punchy, Same Morning Light never settles but revels in its ambition.